College : : Story
Thursday, March 08, 2018

Quick Take: Sam Houston State

Brian Sakowski        
Photo: Brian Blalock/SHSU

Perfect Game College Player Database

During the season Perfect Game scouts will be traveling to some of the top series to watch the very best players in college baseball. Those observations, captured with both written notes and video, will be shared in the College Player Database as linked above, notes that can also be accessed on the players' individual PG profile pages. Throughout the season select reports will be shared in feature format to promote the players, the teams and college baseball as a whole.

Sam Houston State Bearkats

What Happened: Sam Houston State dropped two of three over the course of the weekend at the Shriners College Classic, rallying to beat Vanderbilt in extra innings on Friday before dropping games to Kentucky and Mississippi State on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. As one would expect from the Bearkats, there was some serious fight to this team, and even in their losses showed lots of things to like about the rest of the season. 

Carrying Tool: Tenacity. The Bearkats, while talented nonetheless, are not content to sit back and wait for somebody to do something. They like to push the throttle a little bit, and are seemingly even better when their backs are against the wall. They scratched and clawed their way back against Vanderbilt to force extra innings before walking it off, and while they lost on Saturday and Sunday, they didn't lie down. There's a lot to like about a team who never stops fighting, and Sam Houston State certainly takes after their head coach, Matt Deggs in that regard. 

Concerns: Pitching depth. While the trio of starters that Sam Houston rolled out all have things to like in terms of their profiles, the bullpen was counted on rather heavily over the course of this weekend in particular. There are quality arms in the bullpen, as Sam Houston showed off some underclassmen who will help quite a bit, but as we head into the middle part of the season and towards the stretch, Sam Houston is likely going to need more from their starting pitching. Do they have the depth to overcome that? We'll see. 

Best Player on the Field: Trey Ochoa. The diminutive second baseman handles the bat extremely well and packs more punch than one would expect given his slender frame, showing the ability to hit the ball squarely and firmly to all parts of the ballpark, even making consistently loud outs. He wasn't intimidated in the slightest by the endless stream of SEC arms he faced over the weekend, and was among the relative few to put consistently good swings on high-caliber arms, regardless of team. Add into that his athleticism and quality glove, and it's easy to see why Ochoa earns this nod here. 

Fearless Forecast: The pitching sorts itself out as more and more underclassmen step up, and Sam Houston State is a postseason team as a result. There's no real star power here, so Sam Houston State will need major contributions up and down the roster, and some young guys will have to appear in big spots. They have the ability and coaching to get it done and Bearkats fans should be definitely optimistic about this year's bunch. 

Database Player Reports (9):

• Landon Ausley
• Kyle Backhus
• Seth Ballew
• Andrew Fregia
• Riley Gossett
• Hunter Hearn
Dakota Mills
Trey Ochoa
• Hayden Wesneski

Prospect Spotlight: Trey Ochoa, 2B

Sam Houston State's second baseman, Trey Ochoa, is a transfer student from Howard College who has stepped right into being one of the Bearkats' best players. Smaller-built with a slender frame, Ochoa looks more of the slappy leadoff type of hitter than a middle-of-the-order thumper, and while he definitely has speed, Ochoa packs more of a punch than meets the eye. With very quick hands, strong wrists and innate bat-to-ball skills, Ochoa's contact is more of the louder line drive type than the slap-and-run type. The fact that he's able to repeat this swing and these results, for the most part, from both sides of the plate is an additional draw to the profile. Ochoa isn't going to be much of a home run threat at all, but the strength he has gained does allow him to have solid gap-to-gap extra-base pop, which should result in a fair amount of doubles and triples, given his speed.

Defensively, Ochoa's arm is a little light for shortstop, but he's a perfect fit at second base, where his athletic twitch, range, footwork and arm strength all play very well together. He's light on his feet and quite agile, and as a result is a very good overall defender at the keystone spot. Ochoa's overall draft profile isn't high end, and he's still just a junior with another year of eligibility left, but there will be some interest from teams either this year or next thanks to his athleticism and bat-to-ball skills.

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